Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 6 - Drive to Karijini National Park

Surprise surprise, another early morning...and today was not going to be all that interesting.  We departed at 0630, Rob and I started our morning with a swig of JD and coke - yumm!?!  We had the exciting day of driving from Exmouth to Karijini national park.  Basically, we drove all day.  Rob and I had become quite good friends so we played cards on the bus, and chatted, giggled, all that fun stuff, so the day went by pretty quickly!  Some of the highlights of the day - we saw loads of 'road trains', as they call them here.  They can be as long as 4 sections, a total of 53.5M long, 110 tons and a total of 63 tires!!!  You have to have a license for 10 years with no incidences in order to be qualified to drive a road rain.  Words and pictures can't describe the size of these things, and they travel up and down the west coast all the time, so we saw many!  

We also drove past a RFDS airstrip, (Royal Flying Doctors Service) which was also the highway.  When the RFDS are required to fly in, people from the surrounding communities bring their vehicle to the road and line them up with the headlights in the direction that the pilot needs to land as there is no way for the pilot to know which way the wind is blowing!!  Brilliant if you ask me.  As this was such a long day of driving Pete had arranged to have a 'posh' lunch instead of the usual sandwiches.  We had pasta salad and veggies - which if you can believe it, I actually liked it!!  Although there was no mayo type dressing, instead I added sweet chili sauce - seriously, this stuff rocks!! I put it on everything!!  Our dear Lois has also been great entertainment for this trip, and she seriously, would NOT leave Pete alone!  We had to pick up a few more passengers when we left Exmouth, meaning two people had to sit in the front, Lois was right there saying she would sit up front, and you could tell Pete, in the nicest way possible, was trying to get her stay in the back, but she insisted.  I wasn't about to leave my seat - I liked my bus buddy and I was right at the front so I could put my feet up!  As it turned out, Rich was kind enough to go sit up front, which was probably the best thing as Rich and Pete pretty much talked the while time and Lois just sat there!!  I don't know what else I have told you about Lois, but seeing as not much else happened I will tell you about her as she was, well, entertaining.  She was 70 years old, and been traveling for 3 years, and is from Florida.  She was on the entire 21 day tour with me (there was only about 6 of us going all the way to Darwin) and wore the same outfit the entire time.  She did have another change of clothes that she wore when washing the originals.  She always bought Pete a coffee, and had one ready for him in the morning.  She actually once swam on the American swim team and I believe she made it to the Olympics as well and whenever there was water she was in swimming laps.  Even in the smallest swimming pool or the ocean/sea, wherever!  Every stop, and even sometimes on the bus, she was doing stretches.  Stretching her back, swinging her arms, stretching her legs, hell, even doing the occasional push ups - not even close to proper ones, but she was doing them alright.  We even saw her doing push ups on the catamaran in Monkey Mia.  She always had to be the first one off the bus to hit the toilet, and always wanted the front seat - either in the front of the bus, or the front seat of the bus.  ( I later found out in the second half of the tour that she had a beer almost every morning, so no wonder she has to be the first one off the bus!)  Lois also had to wash the windows of the bus at every roadhouse, including occasionally the inside windows.  This woman could not sit still!!!  She was never rude, and was quite entertaining to listen to her talk, but she was very entertaining to just watch!  She would talk to herself all the time, and even sing in the shower and toilets.  She was caught singing in the dark in the shower at one of the campground's on the second half of the tour!!!  Oh our dear dear Lois, I will never forget you!

So, once we arrived in Karijini - after stopping in Tom Price to pick up more groceries, beer, you know, the important stuff, it was dark out, and we all got into getting super on the go - couscous and fish that night.  The next three nights where camping, either in swags or tents and my friend Marina was on her last night in Karijini so I saw her.  There was a band playing at the information center - which I guess is a rare occasion and usually they are anal about quite time after 10.  Well not this night, as I guess they decided they never have bands and there was a ton of people out having a good time, so they kept on playing.  Marina and her crew as well as my crew where all out having a good time!  Once again, it was a late night , but a fun one :)

Rich in the front with Lois
Havin' fun on the bus!
As you can tell, no one was really exciting this day!
RFDS airstrip/highway!
Chillin at a roadhouse

No comments: